- Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is
advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide,
through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border
at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.
- Once complete, the new road will allow containers from
the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro
Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman's Union in the process. The Mexican
trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what
will be the nation's most modern highway straight into the heart of America.
The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically
by the new "SENTRI" system. The first customs stop will be a
Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a
facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers
in Kansas City.
- As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers,
the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready
to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens
of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway,
despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American
public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming "North American Union"
that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States,
Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality.
- Just examine the following websites to get a feel for
the magnitude of NAFTA Super Highway planning that has been going on without
any new congressional legislation directly authorizing the construction
of the planned international corridor through the center of the country.
- NASCO, the North
America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc., is a "non-profit organization
dedicated to developing the world's first international, integrated and
secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent
Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness
and quality of life in North America." Where does that sentence say
anything about the USA? Still, NASCO has received $2.5 million in earmarks
from the U.S. Department of Transportation to plan the NAFTA Super Highway
as a 10-lane limited-access road (five lanes in each direction) plus passenger
and freight rail lines running alongside pipelines laid for oil and natural
gas. One glance at the map of the NAFTA Super Highway on the front page
of the NASCO website will make clear that the design is to connect Mexico,
Canada, and the U.S. into one transportation system.
- Kansas City SmartPort
Inc. is an "investor based organization supported
by the public and private sector" to create the key hub on the NAFTA
Super Highway. At the Kansas City SmartPort, the containers from the Far
East can be transferred to trucks going east and west, dramatically reducing
the ground transportation time dropping the containers off in Los Angeles
or Long Beach involves for most of the country. A brochure
on the SmartPort website describes the plan in glowing terms: "For
those who live in Kansas City, the idea of receiving containers nonstop
from the Far East by way of Mexico may sound unlikely, but later this month
that seemingly far-fetched notion will become a reality."
- The U.S. government has housed within the Department
of Commerce (DOC) an "SPP office" that is dedicated to organizing
the many working groups laboring within the executive branches of the U.S.,
Mexico and Canada to create the regulatory reality for the Security and
Prosperity Partnership. The SPP agreement
was signed by Bush, President Vicente Fox, and then-Prime Minister Paul
Martin in Waco, Tex., on March 23, 2005. According to the DOC website,
a U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee on Transportation Planning has finalized
a plan such that "(m)ethods for detecting bottlenecks on the U.S.-Mexico
border will be developed and low cost/high impact projects identified in
bottleneck studies will be constructed or implemented." The report
notes that new SENTRI travel lanes on the Mexican border will be constructed
this year. The border at Laredo should be reduced to an electronic speed
bump for the Mexican trucks containing goods from the Far East to enter
the U.S. on their way to the Kansas City SmartPort.
- The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is overseeing the Trans-Texas
Corridor (TTC) as the first leg of the NAFTA Super Highway. A 4,000-page
impact statement has already been completed and public
hearings are scheduled for five weeks, beginning next month, in July
2006. The billions involved will be provided by a foreign company, Cintra
Concessions de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. of Spain. As a consequence,
the TTC will be privately operated, leased to the Cintra
consortium to be operated as a toll-road.
- The details of the NAFTA Super Highway are hidden in
plan view. Still, Bush has not given speeches to bring the NAFTA Super
Highway plans to the full attention of the American public. Missing in
the move toward creating a North American Union is the robust public debate
that preceded the decision to form the European Union. All this may be
for calculated political reasons on the part of the Bush Administration.
- A good reason Bush does not want to secure the border
with Mexico may be that the administration is trying to create express
lanes for Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods
into the heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any U.S. union
workers on the docks or in the trucks.